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Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson

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Also Known As: Samuel Leroy Jackson, Sam Jackson Died:
Born: December 21, 1948 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: United States Profession: actor, producer, social worker, security guard

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

One of the busiest performers in Hollywood, Samuel L. Jackson's prolific list of credits reflected a career born out of turbulent life experiences and shaped by theater and cinema, ultimately making him one of America's leading actors. An active participant in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, Jackson redirected much of his energies into his stagecraft as a co-founder of the Just-Us Theatre, and later, as a member of New York's famed Negro Ensemble Company for more than a decade. Television guest spots and bit parts in low-budget movies eventually gave way to standout performances as an ensemble player in such seminal films as "Do the Right Thing" (1989), "Jurassic Park" (1993) and "Pulp Fiction" (1994). Suddenly one of the hottest leads in Hollywood, Jackson was appearing in an average of five films a year, including Tarantino's "Jackie Brown" (1997) and M. Night Shyamalan's "Unbreakable" (2000). Equally at home in high art projects as well as unapologetic schlock, Jackson often enjoyed himself in campy efforts like the outlandish thriller "Snakes on a Plane" (2006). After setting things up with the first of several cameos in the Marvel Studios adventure, "Iron Man" (2008), Jackson led a team...

One of the busiest performers in Hollywood, Samuel L. Jackson's prolific list of credits reflected a career born out of turbulent life experiences and shaped by theater and cinema, ultimately making him one of America's leading actors. An active participant in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, Jackson redirected much of his energies into his stagecraft as a co-founder of the Just-Us Theatre, and later, as a member of New York's famed Negro Ensemble Company for more than a decade. Television guest spots and bit parts in low-budget movies eventually gave way to standout performances as an ensemble player in such seminal films as "Do the Right Thing" (1989), "Jurassic Park" (1993) and "Pulp Fiction" (1994). Suddenly one of the hottest leads in Hollywood, Jackson was appearing in an average of five films a year, including Tarantino's "Jackie Brown" (1997) and M. Night Shyamalan's "Unbreakable" (2000). Equally at home in high art projects as well as unapologetic schlock, Jackson often enjoyed himself in campy efforts like the outlandish thriller "Snakes on a Plane" (2006). After setting things up with the first of several cameos in the Marvel Studios adventure, "Iron Man" (2008), Jackson led a team of volatile superheroes in the summer blockbuster "The Avengers" (2012). While Jackson's intense demeanor and pitch perfect ear for street dialogue could effortlessly convey a terrifying menace, his impressive skills with comedy and traditional drama allowed him to shine in a virtually unlimited range of material.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Tarzan (2016)
2.
4.
 Reasonable Doubt (2014)
6.
 Kite (2014)
7.
 Big Game (2014)
8.
 RoboCop (2014)
9.
 Zambezia (2013)
10.
 Turbo (2013)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Grew up in segregated Chattanooga, TN
:
Debuted in a TV commercial for Southern fast-food chain Krystal Hamburgers in Atlanta, GA
1972:
Made feature debut in "Together For Days," starring Clifton Davis and Lois Chiles (credited as Sam Jackson)
1974:
First appearance on a TV series, "Moving On" (NBC)
1976:
Moved to NYC from Atlanta; began performing in stage productions, frequently with the Negro Ensemble Company
:
Performed plays with New York Shakespeare Festival
1978:
Appeared in "The Trial of the Moke" for "Great Performances" (PBS)
1981:
First met Spike Lee backstage one night after a performance of "A Soldier's Play"
1981:
First notable appearance in a major feature, as Gang Member No. 2 in Milos Forman's "Ragtime"
:
Spent two years as Bill Cosby's TV stand-in for the NBC sitcom "The Cosby Show"
1985:
First affiliation with playwright August Wilson, Seattle Repertory Theatre production of "Fences"
1987:
Originated the part of Boy Willie in the world premiere of Wilson's "The Piano Lesson" at the Yale Repertory Theater; replaced by Charles S Dutton on Broadway
1988:
First appearance in a Spike Lee film, "School Daze"
1990:
Co-starred in world premiere of Wilson's "Two Trains Running" at the Yale Repertory Theater; replaced by Laurence Fishburne on Broadway
1991:
Breakthrough supporting role, the crackhead Gator in Lee's "Jungle Fever"
1993:
First feature lead in the comedy "Amos and Andrew"
1994:
Delivered a sensational performance as Jules, the philosophizing hit man and partner of John Travolta, in Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction"; earned Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination
1994:
Played prisoner Jamaal in the acclaimed HBO movie "Against the Wall"
1995:
Initial foray into action-adventure genre, "Die Hard with a Vengeance"
1996:
Portrayed Carl Lee Hailey, the grieving father accused of killing the men who raped his 9-year-old daughter, in Joel Schumacher's "A Time to Kill"
1997:
Played a teacher returning to the classroom after nearly being killed by a student in "187"
1997:
Debut as producer, executive produced "Eve's Bayou"; also delivered a silky performance as a cheating husband
1997:
Acted the part of arms dealer Ordell Robbie in Tarantino's "Jackie Brown"
1998:
Received $5 million to star opposite Spacey in "The Negotiator"
1998:
Played an evaluator of violins in the small independent "The Red Violin"
1999:
Portrayed Jedi Knight Mace Windu in the long-awaited "Star Wars: Episode I ¿ The Phantom Menace"
2000:
Cast as a Marine Colonel accused of using excessive force in "Rules of Engagement"
2000:
Played title role in "Shaft," a loose remake of the 1971 classic directed by Gordon Parks and starring Richard Roundtree
2000:
Received star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (June 16)
2002:
Co-starred as Doyle Gipson, an alcoholic saleman in "Changing Lanes"
2002:
Continued his work as Mace Windu in "Stars Wars: Episode II ¿ Attack Of The Clones"
2002:
Reunited with John Travolta in "Basic"
2003:
Starred in the action-packed feature "S.W.A.T."
2003:
Reunited with Tarantino for "Kill Bill"; film released in two Volumes "Kill Bill Vol. 1" (2003) and "Kill Bill Vol.2" (2004)
2004:
Voiced Lucius Best/Frozone in Pixar's animated feature "The Incredibles"
2005:
Cast in the title role in "Coach Carter" the true-life story of controversial high-school basketball coach, who in 1999 benched his entire undefeated basketball team for poor academic performance
2005:
Reprised his role in "Star Wars: Episode III ¿ Revenge of the Sith" the final film in the saga
2006:
Cast in Joe Roth's "Freedomland" with Julianne Moore
2006:
Starred as an FBI agent in the summer thriller "Snakes on a Plane"
2007:
Portrayed a blues player who kidnaps and imprisons a young woman addicted to sex in "Black Snake Moan"
2007:
Co-starred in the boxing film "Resurrecting the Champ"
2008:
Played a racist cop in Neil LaBute's "Lakeview Terrace"
2008:
Co-starred with Bernie Mac as former backup soul singers in "Soul Men"
2008:
Cast as the villain, the Octopus in Frank Miller's "The Spirit"
2010:
Cast as S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury in Jon Favreau's "Iron Man 2"
2010:
Cast opposite Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell in the action comedy "The Other Guys"
2010:
Co-starred with Naomi Watts and Annette Bening in the indie "Mother and Child"
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male ("Mother and Child")
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
2011:
Reprised his role as Nick Fury, director of the super-spy agency; S.H.I.E.L.D., in "Thor"
2011:
Made cameos in "Thor" and "Captain America: The First Avenger" as Nick Fury
2012:
Co-starred in the Marvel superhero ensemble feature "The Avengers" as Nick Fury
2012:
Re-teamed with director Quentin Tarantino in "Django Unchained," a Western drama set in Mississippi; film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Morehouse College: Atlanta , Georgia - 1972

Notes

Jackson was named Harvard's Hasty Pudding Man of the Year in 1999.

A passionate golfer, Jackson hosts the Samuel L. Jackson Celebrity Golf Classic.

"As superb as Travolta, Willis, and Keitel are, the actor who reigns over 'Pulp Fiction' is Samuel L. Jackson. If you think his Jheri Kurled hair looks silly, the film is one step ahead of you: That hair is a tacit comic statement about the ghettoization of blacks in movies. Yet the joke is undercut by the raw ferocity of Jackson's performance. He just about lights fires with his gremlin eyes, and he transforms his speeches into hypnotic bebop soliloquies. Jules the loquacious hit man is the soul and spirit of 'Pulp Fiction', fury reined in by order. During the final sequence, when he holds his gun on a scruffy thief and tells him, 'You're the weak, and I'm the tyranny of evil men... but I'm trying real hard to be the shepherd,' it's enough to give you a shiver... "---From "Knockout Bunch" by Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly, October 14, 1994.

"Man, I didn't just bring my little girl along, I hid the eight ball in her goddamn diaper. Ain't no way the police were takin' my shit away."---Samuel L. Jackson in Buzz, February 1996.

"People also mistake me for Laurence Fishburne all the time. And he always gets mistaken for me. (And why not? We've both starred in Spike Lee movies, haven't we?) Even when we're standing together, people have called him by my name and me by his. A woman recently ran up to him and said, 'My daughter loved you in "Pulp Fiction"! Could she have your autograph?' So he signed it 'Respectfully yours, Samuel Jackson.'"---Jackson to Details, February 1996.

"... I don't go around preaching to people about drugs, and not to use, because that was my story. Truth be told, for twenty-three years I thought that I was having a great time. I was doing my job. I was making money. I was going to work every day. I was still developing a great reputation as an actor. And I was on substance all the time. Alcohol, drugs or something. I was still doing the things I needed to do. I thought that was how it was done. All the great ones were substance abusers. The Burtons of the world were drinkers. I thought all of that was okay, as long as we performed. So when that started getting in the way of what I was doing, then it was time to stop. Being able to do Gator was cathartic. When Ossie [Davis] shot Gator, I killed that guy off for good. My new drug is golf. It's my drug of choice. I also think that if I go back to using, all of this will go away. I'd rather have my big trailer."---Samuel L. Jackson in IMoviemaker, September-October 1996.

"This has been the kind of year where I've worked with Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro, and all of a sudden I'm standing on a set doing scenes with Yoda. I said to myself, 'I've arrived.'"---Jackson to The New York Times, November 2, 1997.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
LaTanya Richardson. Actor. Born in 1941; married in 1980; met while Jackson was attending Morehouse College; acted together in "Losing Isaiah" (1995).

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Elizabeth Jackson. Clothing buyer. Began as a domestic and ended career as supply buyer for state mental institution.
aunt:
Edna. Teacher. Lived in home with Jackson while growing up in Chatanooga, Tennessee; inspiration for him taking role as teacher in "187".
daughter:
Zoe Jackson. Born in 1982; mother, LaTanya Richardson.

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